Mid-Atlantic Information Office

For release: Thursday, February 17, 2011 PLS - 4756
Technical Information: (215) 597-3282 • BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.govwww.bls.gov/ro3
Media Contact: (215) 861-5600 • BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov

Consumer Price Index, Pittsburgh – Second Half 2010 (PDF)

Local Prices up 1.2 Percent Over the Year

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Pittsburgh area rose 1.2 percent from the second half of 2009 to the second half of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, attributed the recent advance to increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy (0.6 percent), food (2.7 percent) and energy (3.6 percent). The 12-month advance in the all items less food and energy index reflected higher prices for owners’ equivalent rent of residences, while the increase in the energy index was dominated by higher prices for gasoline. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), Pittsburgh, second half 2007 to second half 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)

12-month percent change in CPI for all urban consumers (CPI-U), Pittsburgh, Second Half 2007 to Second Half 2010 (not seasonally adjusted)

Food

Food prices rose 2.7 percent since the second half of 2009. Both components of the food index, food at home and food away from home, recorded over-the-year increases, up 3.5 and 2.7 percent, respectively.

Energy

The energy index rose 3.6 percent from the second half of 2009 to the second half of 2010. The recent advance in energy prices was dominated by a rise in gasoline prices, up 7.0 percent over the last 12 months. Partially offsetting the overall advance were lower prices for utility (piped) gas service and electricity. Utility gas service prices posted their fourth straight over-the-year decrease, down 36.5 percent since the second half of 2008 and 3.2 percent since the second half of 2009. Electricity prices also fell over the last 12 months, down 0.5 percent—their first over-the-year decline since the second half of 2006.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent from a year ago. Within this grouping, price increases were led by owners’ equivalent rent of residences (1.3 percent) and medical care (4.9 percent). Higher prices for education and communication (2.3 percent) also contributed to the 12-month increase in the all items less food and energy index. Moderating these advances were lower prices for various components including recreation and household furnishings and operations, which fell 4.5 and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) a CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) which covers approximately 87 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 32 percent of the total population. The CPI-U includes, in addition to wage earners and clerical workers, groups such as professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and retirees and others not in the labor force.

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Each month, prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 25,000 retail establishments—department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index.

The index measures price changes from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights that represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. Because the sample size of a local area is smaller, the local area index is subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error than the national index. In addition, local indexes are not adjusted for seasonal influences. As a result, local area indexes show greater volatility than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. NOTE: Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices between cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.

The Pittsburgh, Pa., Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

For personal assistance or further information on Consumer Price Indexes, as well as other Bureau products, contact the Mid-Atlantic Information Office at (215) 597-3282 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods, Pittsburgh, PA (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Expenditure category Indexes Percent change from
Historical
data
2nd Half
2009
1st Half
2010
2nd Half
2010
2nd Half
2009
1st Half
2010

All items

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213.774 214.470 216.345 1.2 0.9

Food and beverages

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218.137 220.437 223.649 2.5 1.5

Food

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217.663 220.195 223.596 2.7 1.5

Food at home

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212.376 216.892 219.750 3.5 1.3

Food away from home

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224.558 225.633 230.649 2.7 2.2

Alcoholic beverages

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223.192 222.532 223.383 0.1 0.4

Housing

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213.860 213.438 213.267 -0.3 -0.1

Shelter

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234.647 234.171 234.237 -0.2 0.0

Rent of primary residence (1)

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200.417 201.240 202.116 0.8 0.4

Owners' equivalent rent of residences (1) (2) (3)

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227.687 230.998 230.735 1.3 -0.1

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (1) (2) (3)

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227.687 230.998 230.735 1.3 -0.1

Fuels and utilities

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229.169 234.080 233.255 1.8 -0.4

Household energy

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217.832 222.685 218.478 0.3 -1.9

Energy services (1) (4)

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216.791 219.195 213.544 -1.5 -2.6

Electricity (1)

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172.434 175.802 171.601 -0.5 -2.4

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

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243.444 242.789 235.764 -3.2 -2.9

Household furnishings and operations

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150.537 145.269 145.488 -3.4 0.2

Apparel

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149.490 147.317 150.399 0.6 2.1

Transportation

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164.739 167.709 171.559 4.1 2.3

Private transportation

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165.513 168.299 172.283 4.1 2.4

Motor fuel

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232.868 245.995 249.627 7.2 1.5

Gasoline (all types)

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235.969 248.823 252.442 7.0 1.5

Gasoline, unleaded regular (5)

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232.344 245.513 248.968 7.2 1.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (5) (6)

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253.135 266.405 270.206 6.7 1.4

Gasoline, unleaded premium (5)

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232.918 243.518 247.821 6.4 1.8

Medical care

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377.464 388.146 395.875 4.9 2.0

Recreation (7)

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116.520 112.782 111.304 -4.5 -1.3

Education and communication (7)

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137.994 137.715 141.222 2.3 2.5

Other goods and services

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372.323 377.989 381.923 2.6 1.0

Commodity and service group

Commodities

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185.540 186.836 189.161 2.0 1.2

Commodities less food and beverages

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166.698 167.493 169.347 1.6 1.1

Nondurables less food and beverages

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209.346 210.810 213.227 1.9 1.1

Durables

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121.375 121.494 122.755 1.1 1.0

Services

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244.759 244.880 246.430 0.7 0.6

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

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205.357 205.662 207.295 0.9 0.8

All items less shelter

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208.363 209.464 212.194 1.8 1.3

Commodities less food

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168.950 169.697 171.518 1.5 1.1

Nondurables

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214.114 215.976 218.789 2.2 1.3

Nondurables less food

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210.255 211.576 213.887 1.7 1.1

Services less rent of shelter (3)

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261.110 261.891 265.481 1.7 1.4

Services less medical care services

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234.438 233.966 235.196 0.3 0.5

Energy

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230.286 239.420 238.574 3.6 -0.4

All items less energy

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213.956 214.097 215.923 0.9 0.9

All items less food and energy

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214.141 213.831 215.379 0.6 0.7

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series converted to a geometric means estimator in January 1999.
(2) This index series underwent a change in composition in January 2010. The expenditure class now includes weight from secondary residences, and has been re-titled "Owners' equivalent rent of residences." The item stratum "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence" excludes secondary residences.
(3) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(4) This index series was formerly titled Gas (piped) and electricity.
(5) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(6) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(7) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.

Note: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

Last Modified Date: February 23, 2011

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